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vaccines and the return of the United States to the heart of the summit of the 27

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                The 27 heads of state and government of the European Union met this Thursday for their traditional spring summit, a videoconference summit where they in particular decided to give a strong turn to vaccine exports.  The European export control mechanism will be tightened.  They concluded their summit with a virtual meeting with Joe Biden, a symbolic starting point for the renewal of the transatlantic link.

                                    <p>The President of the United States and the Europeans have pledged to work together to fight Covid-19 and increase global vaccine solidarity even if the two blocs now have in common <strong>to ban or limit exports</strong>.

In fact, eager to speed up vaccination campaigns in the face of the third wave of the pandemic, the European Union decided on Wednesday March 24 to tighten the conditions for exporting doses to countries which themselves produce anti- vaccines. Covid or whose population is already widely vaccinated, in the name of “ reciprocity “. A measure that targets, among other things, the United Kingdom.

Thursday evening, at the end of the summit of 27, German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke out for a win-win solution in the dispute with the United Kingdom over the export of vaccines.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel at EU vaccine summit

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« We as the European Union are the part of the world which not only vaccinates its own population but also exports vaccines. This is a different approach than the one chosen by the United States or the United Kingdom. »

The rapprochement with Washington

Apart from the coronavirus, the presence of Joe Biden at the conclusion of this virtual European summit was above all an opportunity to turn the page Donald Trump and to mark the restart of a transatlantic relationship based again on multilateralism and the defense of democracy, according to our correspondent in Brussels, Pierre Bénazet.

« The United States, Europe with other partners, we have laid the foundation for a multilateral order to found rules-based international cooperation, declares Charles Michel, President of the European Council. We were convinced that we could make the values ​​of democracy and the rule of law triumph. We see once again that these values ​​of democracy and the rule of law are under pressure. We face internal and external threats. Disinformation, cyber attacks, hybrid threats. More than ever, the United States and the European Union have a responsibility in the face of history. »

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The transatlantic rapprochement is not only symbolic, because Europeans and Americans, for example, have already acted in concert this week by imposing sanctions on Chinese officials of the persecution of the Uyghur minority, and diplomatic cooperation is expected to strengthen pending the arrival in June of Joe Biden in Europe.

The delay in vaccinations could cost the European economy nearly 123 billion euros in 2021, according to calculations by credit insurer Euler Hermes. The European Union has set itself the goal of vaccinating 70% of its population against Covid-19 by the end of the summer. But the acceleration in the pace of vaccinations, necessary to achieve this, is notably hampered by delays in the delivery of the vaccine from Swedish-British AstraZeneca, and the slowness of vaccination campaigns in member countries. Like Europe, France is also said to be late. However, each week of delay in vaccination could cost him 3 billion euros. With seven weeks delay, we will therefore arrive at a cost of 21 billion euros for the French economy for this year, if this delay is not remedied. It is high time to step up the pace, believe Euler Hermes experts.


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